At a really big Craftsy sale I signed up for Tara Rebman’s quilt as you go tote class for just $10. Last week I finally got around to doing the class using some old wool shirts (yes, donated by my husband) and wool scraps. After spending three times the amount of time I thought this project would take, all I can say is hand crafted purses are worth every penny their makers ask.
These are the lining and outer bag pieces after I fused Decor bond to the lining, and channel quilted the wool to batting and utility cloth. Tara suggests using some free motion quilting as well, but I thought the wool was too thick for that to be successful.
It took me about a half day to reach this point, as I had to cut out the pattern for four layers, the Decor bond kept refusing to stick to the lining material, and the thick wool required some ingenuity in getting it under my presser foot. All told the tote has five layers- three for the outer part and two for the lining.
And I needed every bit of energy for that wrestling match. It was more awkward than difficult as I hauled the bag through the throat of my sewing machine.
Here’s the front and back of the finished tote. The bag bottom is Essex linen fused to (more) Decor bond, so it’s got a lot of body. In fact, the whole thing is constructed along the lines of a brick outhouse.
If I don’t count my time, I figure it cost me about $20 to make this tote. I’m including the cost of the class, 1.5 yards each of Decor bond and utility cloth, and a magnetic snap. Everything else came from my stash and batting scraps. Though I often exercise a bit of magical thinking in declaring my stash to be “free,” all the wool for this project was either recycled from clothing or given to me so it cost me nothing.
While I think the class is a good one, I don’t think I’ll be making more totes any time soon. I’ll gladly pay someone else to make one.